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Review

 

Volkswagen Tiguan

 

Straight To The Top Of The Class!


by Stephen Walker


2nd June, 2008

 

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

The history of the new Volkswagen Tiguan goes back to February 2006 when VW revealed a design study in Berlin, Germany. The vehicle was known as the "Concept A". Later that month the concept was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. Then in July 2006, Volkswagen announced it would name their new player in the compact SUV class the "Tiguan".

In December 2006, Volkswagen displayed the "Concept Tiguan" at the Los Angeles Motor Show to great acclaim. With anticipation of the new model building, the production version of the new Volkswagen Tiguan was released at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show last September.

The new model, which is manufactured in Germany, is a new mainstream model which will position the famous German brand right in the middle of the action in a booming market segment, the compact SUV segment. This is a market segment owned by Japanese and Korean brands. However, in a brilliant marketing strategy, VW is offering both diesel and petrol engines. This manoeuvre is bound to push the slow moving Japanese manufacturers into catch-up mode. Although Suzuki has already 'hit' the market with their Grand Vitara diesel 4x4, others, such as Toyota and Honda, just don't get it!

Customer deliveries of the Tiguan commenced in Germany last November and, now, the new VW Tiguan has been released in Australia. With just 750 examples of the new VW Tiguan in Australia at present, we predict that the take-up rate will see the folks at Volks doing all they can to secure regular shipments to satisfy an obvious sales demand which this car will generate. Already, 10,000 Europeans are waiting for their order to be fulfilled. That's a great position for a car maker to be in. And it's a position that not many are in! But it is, shall we say, "normal" for Volkswagen, the brand which is currently in a situation where they can do no wrong. It was Volkswagen that devised a backlog for Golf GTI 3 years ago. And it was Volkswagen that devised a backlog for Eos just last year. And it is Volkswagen that, this year, sees another backlog on the horizon, simply because the product planning people are organising such successful products that the world just cannot say "no" to what is being offered. And there is every reason to be believe many Australians will find many compelling reasons to join the queue to buy a Volkswagen Tiguan.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

Technical features abound in this important new model. Leading the charge are the 'charged' engines, both diesel and petrol. Then there's optional features such as a rear view camera and a novelty known as 'Park Assist'. This new feature, Park Assist, will undertake the required steering process for the driver. However, a "nut" is still required behind the wheel. This optional feature is much more than a gimmick. Sensors choose a suitable parallel parking space and indicate as much on a 'dial'. The driver activates the system to control the steering, whilst the driver uses the brake to control the speed, thus ensuring the car can easily complete a very efficient parking manoeuvre. This system works only for 'parallel' parking between cars. The optional rear view camera is a great feature for other parking attempts.

Prices (RRP) for the Volkswagen Tiguan:

  • Tiguan 2.0 litre TSI petrol 125 kW 6 Speed manual $33,990
  • Tiguan 2.0 litre TSI petrol 125 kW 6 speed auto    $36,290
  • Tiguan 2.0 litre TDI diesel 103 kW 6 Speed manual $35,990
  • Tiguan 2.0 litre TDI diesel 103 kW 6 speed auto    $38,290
  • Tiguan 2.0 litre TSI petrol 147 kW 6 Speed auto    $42,990

Options

  • Park Assist $1,390 ($890 on 147 TSI model)
  • Satellite Navigation system (RNS510) with rear view camera $3,490 ($2,990 with 147 TSI model)
  • Satellite Navigation system (RNS510) with rear view camera and Dynaudio $4,780 ($4,280 with 147 TSI model)
  • CD Changer (with RNS510) $790
  • Off-road technology $290
  • Bi-Xenon headlamps with cornering lights $1,990
  • Metallic paint/Pearl effect paint $790
  • Panoramic Electric Glass Sunroof $1,990
  • Leather upholstery with Electric Driver's Seat $3,990 ($3,690 with 147 TSI model)
  • 18" Alloy Wheels $2,290 ($1,490 with 147 TSI model)
  • Comfort package $990 (standard with the 147 TSI model)

Standard Equipment

The base model Tiguans, the 103 TDI and 125 TSI, are well equipped with 16" alloy wheels, roof rails, space-saver spare wheel, air conditioning, numerous cup holders, cruise control, 'coming/leaving home' headlights, AM/FM radio with single CD player (MP3 compatible), trip computer, luggage compartment cover, power steering, height adjustment for front seats, leather rimmed steering wheel which is adjustable for height/reach and features audio and trip computer controls, power windows, interior sun visors with vanity mirrors (2) and cloth seats.

The top-of-the-line Tiguan, the 147 TSI, features (in addition to the above or as a replacement of the above) 17" alloy wheels, chrome exterior enhancements (grille, roof rails and window surrounds), low tyre pressure indicator, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights, SD card slot, foot well illumination up front, automatic dimming internal rear view mirror, rear parking sensors, collapsible tray on front seat backrests, lumbar support for front seats, drawers under front seats, rain sensing wipers, illuminated vanity mirrors and sports cloth seats.

Technical features of the Volkswagen Tiguan

Here in Australia, we'll have the immediate choice of a 2 litre diesel, available with either a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic. During the 3rd quarter this year, we'll also have the additional choice of two petrol engines, which is likely to further excite the market. That's because both the petrol engines are the new VW TSI technology which is proving very useful in providing performance with fuel efficiency.

The Tiguan features Volkswagen's famous 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system as standard.

Engine and transmission choice

The diesel, known as TDI in Volkswagen-speak, is available with either a six speed manual transmission or the superb six speed automatic. The diesel engine is already Euro V compliant.

Whilst the two petrol engines, which are due to arrive in September, are the new TSI units. Both these engines feature a capacity of 2 litres and are tuned for 125 kW or 147 kW. The lower powered unit will be available with either manual or automatic (six speed in both cases), whilst the higher powered unit (147 kW) will be sold only with the excellent six speed auto. Both of these new TSI engines use 98 RON premium unleaded petrol. These two petrol variants are Euro IV compliant.

The statistics for the various engines are:

  • 2.0 litre TDI (diesel) - power is 103 kW @ 4,200 rpm, torque is 320 Nm @ 1,750-2,500 rpm - available with manual or automatic transmission. This very efficient diesel engine uses 7.4 litres/100 kms (manual) or 7.9 litres/100 kms (auto) in the 'combined cycle'. This will swing fuel guzzling Toyota Rav 4 owners over to VW 'quick-smart', as these fuel consumption figures are amazing for an SUV.

  • 2.0 litre TSI (petrol) - power is 125 kW @ 4,300 rpm, torque is 280 Nm @ 1,700-4,200 rpm - available with either manual or automatic transmission. This engine is rated at 9.1 litres/100 kms for the manual and 10.1 litres/100 kms for the auto, on the combined cycle.

  • The higher power 2.0 litre TSI engine rates at 147 kW @ 5,100 rpm and 280 Nm @ 1,700-5,000 rpm. This engine is available only with the superb six speed automatic transmission. On the combined cycle, the 147 TSI uses 10.1 litres of petrol per 100 kms.

Emission standards of all three engine variants are impressive. Depending upon which engine and transmission is chosen, emissions are only 195 to 240 grammes per kilometre. For an SUV, these figures are very good.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

Safety

Six airbags and electronic stability programme (ESP) are amongst the many standard safety features on all VW Tiguan models.

In crash testing, EuroNCAP rated the new VW Tiguan with 5 stars, which is as good as it gets!

Dimensions

Length: 4,427 mm
Width: 1,809 mm
Height: 1,683 mm
Wheelbase: 2,604 mm
Ground clearance: 195 mm

Capacities

Occupants: Five
Luggage space: 395 litres (with rear seat upright) or 1,510 litres (with rear seat collapsed)
Roof rails limit: 100 kilogrammes
Fuel tank: 64 litres

Weight

1,610 kilogrammes (125 TSI manual) to 1,660 kilogrammes (147 TSI auto)

Towing

Down ball limit: 100 kilogrammes
Towing capacity: 750 kg (unbraked) or 2,000 kg (braked)

Warranty

The warranty period is 3 years/100,000 kms, with roadside assistance included. Conditions apply, of course.

On the road in the Volkswagen Tiguan

Once you pull out into the traffic and commence the act of motoring onboard Europe's new Volkswagen Tiguan it becomes quite apparent that this new SUV is like no other. It is remarkably quiet and it is so smooth, that you just have to ask yourself is this really an SUV. The roomy interior is comfortable, the driving dynamics are quite enjoyable and the diesel engine gets the compact-sized German-built VW Tiguan going very easily. The 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel is remarkably economical and the features of the car are convincing. This is one mighty fine vehicle. We're going to put a couple of thousand kilometres up very quickly and report soon on just how exciting this new model is. Having already driven a few examples, both manual and automatic, I can verify that this car is one of the most exciting new models released in Australia this year.

www.nextcar.com.au (copyright image)

Conclusion

This is one new model which will excite the nation's new car market. Given the driveability of some of the competitors, Volkswagen will find it quite easy to demonstrate the value of their new SUV. Not only will this vehicle win over many current SUV owners, it is quite likely that the quiet and smooth driving qualities, together with the appealing layout of the car, will attract buyers who had not previously considered an SUV. The traditional high driving position and comfortable interior will be appreciated by sedan/wagon buyers, who will value the many fine attributes on offer with the new Volkswagen Tiguan. And the price is amazing.

Expectations are high with any new Volkswagen. With the Tiguan, VW has exceeded expectations by a massive margin. The price and the features, together with the quality and the driving dynamics make this new model a significant 'stand-out' in any company.



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